Friday, 20 May 2011

Massage therapy in Beijing - what are the differences?

Chinese Massage

Chinese massage (中式按摩 – zhōng shì àn mó) relies much more on a style of massage called tuī ná (推拿), which involves the extensive use of pressure points.
This can be quite painful, along with the extensive kneading that is used. Practitioners of Chinese massage, especially the tuī ná variety, believe it to have strong healing properties.

Thai Massage

Thai massage (泰式按摩 – tài shì àn mó) is a much more relaxing kind of massage. It involves much more rubbing and pressing instead of kneading, as well as interesting stretching techniques.
While both Chinese and Thai massage will leave the person being massaged much more relaxed and comfortable, the Thai massage is less painful and even more soothing. A good massage will leave you in a sleep like state. 

Aromatic plant oils in China

China is an important source of aromatic plant oils.  Around 2000 BC a medical book the 'Yellow Emperors Book of Internal Medicine was written by Emperor Kiwang Ti of China.  It provides the earliest known records of many essential oils.

Shirley Price Aromatherapy Massage

The use of essential oils in massage by western aromatherapists owes much to study of ancient texts and medical curiosity.  The question is why do doctors remain healthy when many of their patients are ill?  How does the psychology of the mind affect wellness?

Aromatherapy massage combines gentle superficial massage strokes with plant oils like lavender and blends of oils usually containing lavender oil to create a state of deep relaxation. Training is quickly acquired and is popular among nurses and midwives and among those caring for the elderly and ill.  Age and medication can compromise immune systems and plant oils can be used to assist. The effect of fragrance on the limbic areas of the brain attracts much research. Trained practicioners can also use this research to blend essential oil components to address specific non medical issues particularly emotional issues and disrupted sleep patterns.  Plant oils have long had a place in beauty and skin treatments in the salons to normalise skin.  Floral oils like Rose, Jasmine, Neroli and Gardenia are highly prized and expensive.  If you are ill or need healing then see a doctor or priest!  Aromatherapy Massage is offered by a number of spas in Beijing.

Accredited therapists study anatomy and physiology and attend 250 hours of taught training in aromatherapy, massage therapy, reflexology and aromatherapy skincare. 450 hours of case studies and work experience and self directed study are required.  An external examiner tests theory and practice.  On completion of this training which is the equivalent of an NVQ Level 4/5 qualification students are eligible to join professional trade bodies like IFPA, IFA and the FHT and their own national aromatherapy organisations worldwide.  Local schools can be found on the websites of these organisations. Many like our own school attend regular schools meetings and in open forum share best practice and blog enthusiastically to promote an open and informed scientific aromatherapy community.  Such meetings are also a good opportunity for organised CPD from leading international practicioners.  Similar level training in the USA can be found at the Aromahead Institute.  Shirley Price Aromatherapy is exploring ways to bring this training to China.  Equivalent level training in Asia can be found as the Issamay Institute in Singapore/Malaysia.


No comments:

Post a Comment